Using text within shapes and along shape paths with InDesign

InDesign File

One of the things that we get asked to do in a design document is to get text to fill a particular shaped gap or follow a path that is not straight. In this article I will cover both of those scenarios. There could be many reasons that you need your text to follow a curved path or to fit inside a particular shape. First up we will start with the shapes and getting your text to fit inside them is really simple. You use the framing tools to set the boundaries for the text and then enter the text

Using conditional formatting and functions in Microsoft Excel

Excel File

This is another one of my articles about Microsoft Excel covering conditional formatting and conditional statement functions such as TRUE, FALSE, NOT, IF, AND, OR, XOR, IFNA and IFERROR. Conditional formatting allows you to display your workbook cells differently based on specified criteria (the values of cells). Conditional functions allow you to present results in your cells based on different criteria. So one is for the display conditions and the other for the values returned based on a conditional statement. Conditional formatting We will start with conditional formatting and with a very simple example. I have a spreadsheet with some

Manipulating and formatting text using functions in Microsoft Excel

Excel File

In this short article I run through some examples of using Excel’s text functions to manipulate or format data. This follows on from my other Excel related articles. Quite often I use Excel to change data to the format that is required in a database and text functions come in very handy in all sorts of situations. I also use Excel to format data into HTML code for use in web pages and I’ll give an example of that. In the descriptions below I refer to the values within the function as text, character, string or values and show them

Using dates and date functions in Microsoft Excel

Excel File

Following on from my article about using names for cells or a range of cells, I have decided to continue writing about Excel and today’s subject are Excel’s use of dates and its date functions. As I am in the UK the default way to show dates in the screenshots will be the UK format but that is just something to be aware of rather than any issue as following through with the examples on your own machine will display in default format for your location. In this article we will cover how dates are stored, their format and then

Linking from small places on small devices with InDesign

InDesign File

I thought I would share something that I find useful when creating InDesign documents with links in them for use on mobile devices as they are not always very easy to select. An example is a word in a block of text or a very small image. It is very easy to increase the selection area to more than just the hyperlink item. Here I explain how to do it in a few simple steps so you can still provide a reasonably sized navigation point from a very small place or a tiny navigation item to be hyperlinked. First draw

Adding a hyperlink image button to your Outlook signature

Outlook File

I was asked a while back “how to make a graphic in an Outlook signature into a hyperlink button” so I showed the requestor but I wondered if others might find it useful so I thought I would share how to do this here. In preparation you will need a button image and a website or web page address. In this example I am going to add my Linked-in profile, “” to my signature using a “View My Profile” image (below). If you go to the File tab in Microsoft Outlook and select Options it will bring up the Options

Internal linking to text areas within an InDesign document

InDesign File

Yesterday I was asked how to create an internal hyperlink to a piece of text on a page within InDesign from a graphic. I’ve done it many times before but it had completely gone out of my head until I sat down in front of InDesign myself. I figured I would create a short article as a reminder to me but also if anyone else is interested. I’ll use a similar example as I was asked about yesterday. We had a page with a graphic that looked button-like but was an image and numerous text and graphics spread over several

Straightening images using Photoshop

Photoshop Tip

Something that I use Photoshop for quite often is to straighten up wonky images. Most pictures don’t really need straightening but sometimes they look silly or need to be straight to fit in with another part of a design. In this article I will show you show to straighten an image using Photoshop. It involves a bit of rotation and a bit of cropping but is quite simple and effective. Let’s get started. First you need to open your image in Photoshop. I always work on copies so if you are not working on a copy of the image, not

Finding a value in a range using Microsoft Excel functions

Excel File

Following on from my other Microsoft Excel articles, this one is devoted to looking up information from within a range of values such as a table of data but using the functions that Excel provides. We will look at four functions used for finding operations within Excel; VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, MATCH and INDEX. First we will have an explanation of each and then walk through some examples of their usage. Finally in this article I will explain how to look up a value in a table based on multiple criteria using SUMPRODUCT. Excel finding function descriptions INDEX(array of values, row number,

Using cell reference names and named ranges in Microsoft Excel

Excel File

Everyone who uses Excel and that has written a formula (you might think that must be everyone but there are some people who just use Excel for sorting rows of data) will have used the row and column reference at some point (i.e. A1 or R1C1) or a cell range (A1:C2 or R1C1:R3C2). Anyone that has gone back to their workbook after a long time to make modifications or anyone that has to modify or decipher someone else’s workbook will curse those row and column references. So what can you do about it? Using the naming feature within Excel you